LIFEBOATS were scrambled after a man and dog got stranded on a North-East beach by the rising tide.

The alarm was raised on the coast at Sunderland at 2.30pm on Saturday.

One man, believed to be the pet’s owner, was on the promenade, with a dog cut off on the beach being battered by waves.

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Ben Mitchell, crewman at Sunderland Lifeboat, said: “On the lifeboat we were constantly trying to formulate a plan to try and rescue the dog but there was a lot of risk involved in the majority of our options which would put our crewman in danger.

“We continued to liaise with the shore based coastguard team who continued to update us on the dog’s condition and the waves on the beach while we negotiated the breaking surf in the bay.”

Fire and rescue crews from Sunderland also attended and worked with the coastguard to save the dog.

Mr Mitchell said: “As the fire-fighter came over the edge of the cliff the dog started to get washed around by the waves.

“One particularly large wave seemed to pick up the dog and wash it further towards the promenade, at this point we became increasingly concerned as the waves seemed more violent in that location.

“Two coastguard officers on the promenade were able to then coax the dog to swim towards them and effect an excellent rescue of the dog up onto the safety of the promenade.”